Constitution articles 'anachronistic'
The constitution contains anachronistic references to women, a meeting in Leinster House heard today.
The National Women's Council of Ireland's chief executive Orla O'Connor said there were many good things about the 1937 constitution.
However, she said it had a "very conservative ethos" and had been shaped by an all-male civil service and judiciary. "It is long overdue a significant overhaul," she said.
Barrister Alan Brady, adjunct lecturer in Trinity College Dublin's school of law said he had been commissioned by the Women's Council to carry out a "gender audit" of the constitution.
Mr Brady said the constitution was a "symbolic statement of values" and the clause relating to women in the home was an "anachronism in modern Ireland".
Article 41.2.1 says the State "recognises that by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved".
Article 41.2.2 says that the State shall "endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home".
Mr Brady said the latter article had been an "unmitigated failure" when more than have of women were in the workforce. It was good that there was recognition of the value of informal, unpaid care work, which he described as the "bedrock of our society". He said, however, the language should be "gender neutral".
The briefing was organised by the Women's Council and facilitated by Labour Party Senator Ivana Bacik.